Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when people gather with family and friends and enjoy a delicious family meal.

While it is a time for celebration, it is also a time that fire departments experience an increase in calls regarding fires.

Freetown Fire Lt. Harry Ashley tells WBSM News that many times fires are caused when the person preparing the meal becomes distracted.

"I think probably the bigger factor is that people that are actually doing the cooking become distracted, because they're visiting with family members or they're leaving things unattended on the stove or in the oven," said Ashley.

In the last few years more and more people have been serving deep fried turkey as the centerpiece of their Thanksgiving meal.

While it has become increasingly popular Lt. Ashley says it can also create a high risk of fire if it isn't done properly.

"If it's not done properly, and the oil isn't measured properly, you have the danger of the hot oil spilling and people that don't use good judgement and don't do that in an outside area, it becomes a danger," said Ashley.

Fire officials say it's also important to make sure that smoke detectors are working and to keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop.